Ketamine is a drug that was developed in the 1960s to sedate animals and humans for surgery. This drug can impair memory and attention. Higher doses can cause amnesia, paranoia and hallucinations, depression, and difficulty breathing.
This is another sedative that can be used as a date-rape drug. This drug was intended to be for short-term treatment of chronic or severe insomniacs not responsive to other hypnotics. The effects include low blood pressure, dizziness, abdominal cramps, confusion, and impaired memory.
Once sold at health food stores, GHB's effects are related to dose. Originally used to treatment of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness and recurring daytime sleep attacks. Effects range from mild relaxation to coma or death. GHB is often used as a date-rape drug because it is tasteless, colorless, and acts as a powerful sedative.
MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by a German company to be used as an appetite suppressant. This is a stimulant and hallucinogen used to improve mood and to maintain energy, often for all-night dance parties. Long-term use may cause damage to the brain's ability to regulate sleep, pain, memory, and emotions.
Albert Hofman, the inventor of LSD, called it "medicine for the soul." Songs were written about it, and the military conducted secret experiments that exploited its hallucinogenic powers. Hallucinogenic mushrooms come from the natural environment. The indigenous pointed bald caps grows in moderate regions and are among the oldest hallucinogens. LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms can cause hallucinations, numbness, nausea, and increased heart rate. Long-term effects include unwanted hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and mood disturbances.
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that increases alertness, decreases appetite, and gives a sensation of pleasure. The drug can be injected, snorted, smoked, or eaten. It shares many of the same toxic effects as cocaine-heart attacks, dangerously high blood pressure, and stroke. Withdrawal often causes depression, abdominal cramps, and increased appetite. Other long-term effects include paranoia, hallucinations, weight loss, destruction of teeth, and heart damage.
PCP is a powerful anesthetic used in veterinary medicine. Its effects are similar to those of ketamine but often stronger. The anesthetic effects are so strong that you can break your arm but not feel any pain. Usually, tobacco or marijuana cigarettes are dipped into PCP and then smoked.
Effects of heroin intoxication include drowsiness, pleasure, and slowed breathing. Withdrawal can be intense and can include vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, confusion, aches, and sweating. Overdose may result in death from decreased breathing. Because heroin is usually injected, often with dirty needles, use of the drug can trigger other health complications including destruction of your heart valves, HIV/AIDS, infections, tetanus, and botulism.
Derived from the coca plant of South America, cocaine can be smoked, injected, snorted, or swallowed. The intensity and duration of the drug's effects depend on how you take it. Desired effects include pleasure and increased alertness. Short-term effects also include paranoia, constriction of blood vessels leading to heart damage or stroke, irregular heartbeat, and death. Severe depression and reduced energy often accompany withdrawal.
Alcohol lessens your inhibitions, slurs speech, and decreases muscle control and coordination. Withdrawal from alcohol can cause anxiety, irregular heartbeat, tremor, seizures, and hallucinations. In its severest form, withdrawal combined with malnutrition can lead to a life-threatening condition called delirium tremens (DTs). The drug can cause cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, lungs, and stomach. In addition, alcohol abuse causes nearly half of all fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Derived from the plant Cannabis sativa, is the most commonly used illegal drug. The plant produces delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient associated with intoxication. Marijuana resin, called hashish, contains an even higher concentration of THC. The drug is usually smoked, but it can also be eaten. Its smoke irritates your lungs and can lead to forms of cancer. The common effects of marijuana use include pleasure, relaxation, and impaired coordination and memory.
People cite many reasons for using tobacco, including pleasure, improved performance and vigilance, relief of depression, curbing hunger, and weight control. The primary addicting substance in cigarettes is nicotine. But cigarette smoke contains thousands of other chemicals that also damage health. Hazards include heart disease, lung cancer and emphysema, peptic ulcer disease, and stroke. Withdrawal symptoms of smoking include anxiety, hunger, sleep disturbances, and depression.